April 28, 2011

87. Exit Smiling (1926)

Hello there!

A friend of mine passed away unexpectedly some time ago and that whole thing derailed me in a big way. 

While this blog has been hibernating, I've received a fair amount of feedback and comments from visitors/readers. Thank you to each and every one of you, it means a lot.

I think I'm doing better now. 
And to prove it, here's a mediocre story featuring a handful of beautiful and good actors:

 Another town, another performance of Flaming Women

 The crowd is growing restless, they don't like to wait

 The manager takes a peek from behind the curtains, he's anxious

 the leading lady hasn't shown up and one of her co stars, the campy Cecil Lovelace (Franklin Pangborn, 32) can't take the pressure. He's quite possibly the outright gayest silent film character since the eunuch attendant from Judith of Bethulia.

 But no worries, Violet (Beatrice Lillie, 32) is there to save the day

 the manager allows her to give it a try but right before she goes onstage, the true star arrives and crushes her dreams

 so the play finally begins 
Violet plays the minor part of a maid

 after the show is over Violet and her troupe members gather up their belongings...

 and after a quick supper at the local diner, they board a train that will take them to the next city

 one troubled but illegally charming fellow by the name of Jimmy Marsh 
(Jack Pickford, 30) steps on the same train 

 he's deep in thought but soon notices he's being subjected to a private performance

 Violet is practicing in secret and it takes her a while to register she's not alone

 Violet is so smitten with her encounter with Jimmy... 

 that she goes over to the wrong bed by accident

 Mr Lovelace is outraged by such horrible behavior 

 The train stops in another city in the morning
Jimmy sees Violet again

 turns out Jimmy is in some sort of trouble and could use some money, 
so Violet suggests he could try out for the play

The manager is amused by the suggestion but allows him to audition. 
Violet serves as his acting coach.

 with the help of Violet's onion, anyone can cry on demand

 the rest of the cast are impressed and moved to tears by the audition

 that's Louise Lorraine (22) as Phyllis Tichnor, the banker's daughter, the girl Jimmy left behind

 Harry Myers (44) as the evil accountant who stole money from the bank to pay for his gambling addiction and then somehow made it seem like it was all Jimmy's fault

man, he was beautiful 

 Lovelace being a queen again

and again 

 look at Jimmy... he's talking/flirting with the diva of the show

 aww, poor Violet

 this is D'Arcy Corrigan (56) in a bit part
I kind of developed a crush on him because he reminds me of Nigel de Brulier

 after dinner Jimmy sits outside the carriage with Violet, 
but his thoughts drift back to the chick back home

 he squeezes Violet's little hand and she mistakes this for a sign of affection


 one morning Jimmy wakes up and realizes the train has stopped in his home town again

 he tells Violet he can't be seen by the townspeople because they think he's a thief

 she comes up with a plan; 
Jimmy feigns sudden illness, she covers up for him during the show

The play was painful to watch because it's more like a farce. 
Afterwards Violet dashes outside the theater to set the record straight on Jimmy's behalf. 
She dresses up as the vamp from the show and goes over to the evil dude's house to stop him from making things difficult 

 she stages a scene to make it look like the guy hit her with his car. he takes her inside his house where she does her best to "seduce" him 

 an anklewatch

 more chaos ensues but since I'm only after Jack here, we'll skip all the other stuff

 things turn out OK for Jimmy and here he is talking with his sweetheart, unaware of all the work that Violet did in order to clear his name

 she sits inside the carriage mending his clothes

 Jimmy decides to stop touring and to start working for the bank again. 
How lame.

 He bids farewell to Violet, who like a typical shy martyr creature  
doesn't tell him about the sacrifice 


Directed by Sam Taylor

1 comment:

  1. love love love this film!!! i was laughing the entire time.

    if you do not mind i used some of your screen caps in my review of Exit Smiling on my blog: unecinephile.blogspot.com let me know if that is ok i know you made them yourself.

    i love your blog i am getting in silent films so your blog is perfect. now i am going to have to find all these films to watch now.


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